Dec 092014
 

think-retro-apple-logo
I was excited to see a new weekly column devoted to vintage Apple products debut on the Macworld web site in November. Written by Christopher Phin, the series is, in his words, “unashamedly in love with yesterday’s Apple.” He promises to provide readers with “a mix of practical advice, hidden histories and wildly nostalgic love letters to beautiful old pieces of hardware and software” in the coming weeks, and after reading the first 4 articles I am impressed and plan to be a regular reader.

Of course part of the reason is that I keenly appreciate anyone who shares my passion for classic Apple hardware and software, but what delights me the most about “Think Retro” is that is is quality content, with glorious photos and beautiful, descriptive words that evoke the genuine emotions I remember the first time I saw or used the items he writes about. It seems that 95% of content related to Apple that appears on the web nowadays is little more than recycled press releases, repeated gossip from a rumor site, or wild speculation with little basis in fact, all with click-bait headlines. After reading it you are no wiser for the experience and often feel like the writer and publisher ought to compensate you for slogging through their lame efforts you know any writing teacher would return to them with “F – Redo” emblazoned across the top in crimson.

In contrast, “Think Retro” is clearly a labor of love, written with genuine care and respect for the topics and illustrated with brilliant photographs you can tell weren’t culled from stock images. Check out the introductory column, A Love Letter to the Apple Logo and if you are at all interested in what the author calls “yesterday’s Apple” I am confident you’ll be a regular reader.

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May 272014
 

Apple-LISA-Macintosh-XL

image courtesy Wikipedia

Even though I have been using Macs for most of the three decades they have been around, I’ve never had a chance to use an Apple Lisa, the famous predecessor to the Macintosh that cost a cool $10K back in 1983 (or nearly $24K in today’s inflated dollars).

And while I’ve always wanted to add one to my collection of classic Apple computers, I’ve never had an affordable opportunity to purchase a working model. Thankfully modern technology allows us an opportunity travel back in time and experience using an Apple Lisa via a brilliant emulator written by Ray Arechelian. Thom Holwerda wrote about it on OSNews today and stirred up lots of new interest for LisaEm that appears to have been dormant since 2008. Be sure to check out the comments to see remarks from Ray who has apparently been coaxed into resurrecting the project with several offers of assistance.

Explore Ray’s site for the full story about his efforts to develop a software version of Lisa. If you are blessed to have a real Lisa and need help with troubleshooting it the Lisa FAQ is extensive. His Lisa Sites section includes a vast number of links to other Lisa-related sites and resources. I’ll be checking them out myself after I finish the steps to install LisaEm and find out what it was like to experience the Apple Lisa back in 1983.

 

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Jan 292013
 

mac-annie

The Register recently featured a nice article by Bob Dorman about the 30th anniversary of the Apple Lisa computer. At the close of the article the author includes the following citation:

A hat tip to the folks behind the ftp.apple.asimov.net site, a huge resource of information related to early Apple products.

I decided to explore the ftp site and discovered a treasure trove of information for any Apple historian.

One of the gems I discovered was the first name of the Macintosh, included in a document compiled by Jef Raskin in February, 1980 entitled The Macintosh Project – Selected Papers.

On the 8th page of this document is a copy of a memo whose first section is CHANGE OF NAME (see picture above). As you can see, Macintosh began life at Apple under the project code name of “Annie,” following a convention of using female names for major products in development.

When you get a chance take some time to click on the link above and enjoy viewing the myriad of historical documents and pictures carefully assembled for posterity.

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